When it comes to sodium, less is usually best. Yet, most Americans consume over twice as much sodium in a day than what is recommended. Having high salt intake can lead to high blood pressure and damage to your kidneys, and it is the leading cause of kidney failure among older adults. To help reduce your and your loved one’s salt intake daily, the expert team at Cardinal Court has put together some of our best tips to make lowering your salt intake easy.
Did you know that most preservatives are made almost entirely from salt? Cured meats, processed fruits and vegetables, and most of the quick and easy dinner meals that you find in the freezer section of the grocery store are drenched in enough sodium for an entire day. Fresh cuts of beef, chicken, and pork contain natural sodium, which is good for you, but you do not need to add extra. A good rule of thumb is if it can last for weeks in the refrigerator, it likely has way too much sodium in it.
Begin reading food labels when you are grocery shopping for yourself and your loved ones. Sodium content is listed on the nutrition label, and you should check to see how it is measured as well. It can be surprising to see how much sodium content is in our diets once we start reading the labels and understanding how much we are putting into our bodies. To keep it simple (unless your medical team has advised you otherwise, of course) most people should aim to reduce their sodium intake. Less is best.
Next, remove salty sauces and table salt from your refrigerator and dining table. Sauces like ketchup, mustard, barbeque sauce, chutneys, and soy sauces all contain very high levels of sodium and should be consumed in moderation or not at all. The reality is, we have likely already consumed more salt than we should purely based on what is in processed foods—before we ever even add the extra sauce. By removing these options from your home, you will not be tempted to add extra salt to your diet.
Another great way to remove salt from your diet is to abstain from cooking with salt. But this doesn’t mean your food has to taste bland! You can simply use herbs and spices that do not contain salt to flavor your food. For example, making the simple switch from using garlic salt to using garlic powder can eliminate unnecessary salt from your diet. You don’t have to sacrifice flavor to reduce your salt intake!
Before dining out with your friends and family members, consider doing your research first on the menu options at the restaurant. Visit the restaurant’s website to see what they have on the menu and the nutrition facts associated with each choice. If this is not an option for you, you can also request that your food be cooked fresh without salt to reduce the amount of salt in your meal.
As you can see, there are several simple changes that you and your loved ones can make to reduce the amount of salt in your diets. It is especially important for seniors to have lower sodium diets to maintain their kidney health and to keep their blood pressure down, especially if those are conditions they struggle with. The expert team at Cardinal Court is here to support you if you need any additional assistance with this new diet change!
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